“V is for Voices” – Celebrating V-February at Dartmouth
February 2014 is “V-February” at Dartmouth College. For the last fifteen years, our community has participated in the annual V-Week movement as a call to end violence against girls and women. This year, the Center for Gender and Student Engagement has expanded the cause into a month-long campaign themed, “V is for Voices.” The objective is to better represent diverse experiences beyond the gender and sexuality binaries.
V-February commenced with the Cindy Pierce Comedy Show on February 10. The comedienne shared entertaining stories about the romantic and sexual encounters of young adults as a means to inspire students to take responsibility for their relationships. On February 12, students performed an original production called Voices, which featured artistic works (such as monologues, poetry, and dance) submitted by members of the Dartmouth community. Katherine Kinnaird (Department of Mathematics), a member of this year’s V-February Committee, described the presentations as “honest, beautiful, and brave.” She adds, “I also love the display in Baker-Berry library highlighting women that the Dartmouth Community finds inspiring, as well as the interactive forum that offers an opportunity to add a note on how you view your voice.”
Upcoming events include the following:
- February 18, Speak Out (Collis Common Ground, 7:00 pm): Students will share their experiences with sexual assault.
- February 19, Proud to be a Woman Dinner (Alumni Hall, 6:00 pm)
- February 20, Tea with WISE “Supporting Survivors” (Center for Gender and Student Engagement, 4:00 pm)
- February 24, Voices Around the World Panel (Fahey First Main Lounge, 4:00 pm): The session will feature global perspectives on feminism.
- February 28, Keynote Address (Dartmouth 105, 7:00 pm): Dr. Sarah Vitorino, a scholar and motivational speaker, will speak on self-empowerment and unleashing one’s innate potential.
The production of American playwright and activist Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play, The Vagina Monologues, comprises an integral part of V-celebrations at Dartmouth. This year, the play – a dynamic and deep engagement with feminine sexuality – will take place on February 26 at the Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center for the Arts (7:30 pm to 9:00 pm). The reception will follow immediately at the Top of the Hop. On February 27, Vagina Controversies (Collis Common Ground, 6:30 pm) will provide an opportunity to discuss various controversies surrounding Ensler’s play.
V-February’s extensive and innovative programming promotes perspectives of gendered bodies and identities that are both inclusive and accessible. It constitutes a laudable endeavor that gives voice to the marginalized and silenced, and seeks to empower members of the Dartmouth community through self-authorship and agency.
by Meg Menon